The annual survey of the advertising market in the Arab world by ArabAd magazine and research firm IPSOS-STAT shows that real advertising expenditures in Lebanon totaled $182m in 2012, constituting a rise of 4.5% from $174m in 2011 and compared to a contraction of 3% in 2011 and increases of 15.4% in 2010 and 18.5% in 2009.
Television attracted $71m, or 39% of advertising expenditures, followed by outdoor billboards with $43m (23.6%), newspapers with $33m (18.1%), magazines with $16m (8.8%), radio with $13.5m (7.4%), online with $4.5m (2.5%) and cinemas with $1m (0.5%).
Online advertising rose by 29% last year, radio ads increased by 11%, TV ads improved by 8%, and newspapers & magazines ads grew by 5%; while billboard ads regressed by 4.4%. The distribution of advertising expenditures was largely unchanged year-on-year, with outdoor billboards maintaining their second place in the market despite the drop they suffered following the decision of the Ministry of Interior to reorganize billboards distribution across the country.
In terms of advertising revenues, MTV was the top television station, An Nahar led all newspapers, Mondanité was the leading foreign language monthly periodical, and Snob the number one Arabic monthly magazine; while Radio Liban Libre was the top news radio station and Sawt Al Ghad the leading musical radio station.
MTV replaced LBCI and Radio Liban Libre overtook Sawt al Mada as the top recipients of ad spending in their respective media segments, while the other media outlets retained their top spot in their respective segments from the previous year.
Solvid was the biggest individual spender on advertising in Lebanon, followed by Transmed, Khalil Fattal & Fils, Nestlé, L'Oréal Liban, BankMed, Zinatat, Abi Ramia Brothers, Vincenti & Fils, and Michel Najjar Est. Further, Buzz was the top advertised brand in all media, followed by BankMed, Zein Al Atat, XXL, Freez, Touch, BLOM, Alfa, Pampers, and Kassatly Chtaura. Also, Touch wa the top advertised brand in cinemas, BankMed was the most advertised in the press, Buzz was the top advertised brand on television, Samsung was the most advertised on outdoor billboards, and BO18 Classic was the most frequently promoted item on radio.
In parallel, ArabAd indicated that political news bulletins attracted 33% of total TV advertising, followed by TV series with local productions, and foreign series that are dubbed in Arabic. Further, it said that the non-alcoholic drinks sector was the top spender on advertising, as it accounted for 13% of total expenditures in 2012, followed by the entertainment sector, and the leisure & food sector. The hygiene & beauty care products sector was the top spender on advertising in 2011.
According to IPSOS-STAT, monitored advertising expenditures in Lebanon reached $1.24bn in 2012, unchanged from each of 2011 and 2010. It said the discrepancy between monitored rates and actual figures continues, as monitored rates are 6.8 times larger than real advertising expenditures. It attributed this trend to big client discounts, inflated rate cards, big barter deals, as well as to a lack of transparency in the industry in reporting earnings. It noted that monitored ad spending on TV are 13.2 times larger than actual spending, followed by radio with a 3.9 ratio, magazines with a 3.2 ratio, outdoor billboards with a 3.1 ratio, cinema with a ratio of 1.9, and newspapers at 1.8 times.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Bank Research